Demand for smaller states: a need before it turns into disaster

Say, you are a small business owner in Meerut in Uttar Pradesh and some dabangg has illegally occupied part of your business complex. You filled a case in local court but decision was against you and now you want to approach High court. How far you have to go on every court date, any guesses? Answer is around 700 KM by bus or train meaning more than 50 hours journey in total. 

Above is just a small preview of problem faced by residents of large states like UP, MP, Maharashtra, Andhra etc. In a country of continental size proper administration needs proper organization. When all of us do not leave any chance to criticize inefficient administration, we must consider possible causes for the same. In my opinion, India with a population of 1.2 billion must have at-least 60 states based on various criteria
The unmanageable size of some of Indian states has been a recent topic of debate. Arguments against formation of small states has been put forth such as large cost to setup a new capital, increased demand for very small inviable states, more dependence on central for funds. But if we look closely gains from formation of small states outweigh losses by a huge margin. Better administration, more importance to local issues, close relation between political elites and general public, area specific development program are some of the advantages that come to mind. Also random maps carved by colonial masters must be redrawn based on cultural and geographical identities. Jhansi of Bundelkhand and Gorakhpur in eastern UP have nothing in common, yet they are part of a same state. Such anomalies should be removed as soon as possible. South India witnessed state reorganization based on language after the independence, but north India, specially hindi belt was left untouched.

Some people make mistake of equating demand for statehood to anti-nationalism. Both are very much different and we should have different policy to deal with both. It should not take hundreds of students to commit suicide to form a small state of Telangana.

In my humble opinion, it is time to reorganize north India based on cultural and administrative ease. India must be at peace with itself and strangely giving more autonomy is the only way to make India more united. However, honest efforts in this direction must be differentiated from political gimmicks like proposal of Maya madam about UP. Formation of second state reorganization commission and consideration on case to case basis is the way forward.

What do you think on this issue, please do comment.

4 thoughts on “Demand for smaller states: a need before it turns into disaster

  1. Did you write Essay on this topic Chakresh??I wrote on this one as found Cinema one too digressing to assimilate in 3 hours.

    While no one can argue against efficiency of a smaller state as a theretical concept, there are few observations that need to be made in light of operational issues in India:

    1.Court cases mushroom mostly due to lacunae in revenue administration.Land record modernization and GIS data Authority are need of the hour.Gujarat and Kerala, by no means small states ,have done extremely well on this front.Small states if automatically bolster RA then they are worth their salt else they add one more party of litigation each to the legal jungle.

    2.As you know the Principle of subsidiarity…Power belongs to people and need to be given back.While smaller states come closer to them; District Administration can suffer at the hands of local politicians of small parties who gain a lot of ground in such states.

    3. What about inter state water disputes(262’s ineffectiveness is for us to see…KWDT-II is an apt example), Law and order and terrorism issues(though NIA has given some hope in this direction) and many more coordination issues as seen in GST implementation.A small state may be efficient but what about national issues and concensus?It can then tantamount anti nationalism.

    4.Also arises the question of Impact of local parties on National Social and political fabric.I find a mixed result hitherto.

    5.I find reorganization of North India on Cultural basis a bold and interesting idea.Please could you elaborate more?Are we still a culturally segregable landscape(Having lived in Cities all my life , I can’t answer this question)?

    6. Nigeria and USA with their diversities have done reasonally well with 50+ states.Will it stop at 60 is the question we need to ask.

    As far as UP is concerned; Bundelkhand, like Telangana deserves a cerebration; rest is a cruel joke.

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  2. @Vaibhav Yes I wrote on this topic, 22 pages long essay, hope examiner doesn’t get bored. 🙂

    The problems of inter-state water disputes and budget allocation are short term. In long term, I think smaller states shall be beneficial.

    It has been observed that in small states national parties come to the forefront and regional parties get marginalized. See, chhattisgarh, uttaranchal and to some extent jharkhand.

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